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Game: Great minds think alike

Announcement!

We have moved to new, and hopefully better hardware! Along with this move came a bunch of updates to our code base. Please let me know if you spot something wonky.

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joyblood's picture
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[OOC: As a marketing man, I'd call this "personalization" Eye-wink ]

Ohalian checks all systems as quick as he can - but he doesn't notice anything out of place. Far more interesting, though, is something he notices that works just as it should. He never cared much for it, but the central units of his sensoric cyber equipment always call up with the starting message "JSnin" and a specific number - looking like an abbreviation of "J-Sys network interface number".´

It seems like his sensoric equipment had been produced by the J-Sys corporation.

nick012000's picture
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Brilliant. My sensory cyber is being hijacked. Doesn't look like there's any degredation of performance, though, so I might as well give it a shot...

He will then state to it, "Does the J-sys network interface number..." and then he will rattle off the number he's seeing, "mean anything to you?"

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The man in leather stays silent for a few long seconds. Then, he replies: "This is Joyne Anders from J-Sys Corporation. Who are you and how did you get access to our system?"

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How the hell... I don't think I have any radio ware in me, and I'm in a different dimension to home.

"I am Ohalian Smith. You should have records of installing some sensory 'ware in me, at the behest of Krofflen, Inc., who were my employers at the time. I don't know the specifics of how I managed to gain access to your system, but I have some sensory cyberware that seems to have been hijacked by some sort of subroutine, which is causing the hallucination of a man, dressed in leather. I presume it is yours, given that it asked for my J-sys network interface number, and I supplied it the number that was integrated into my 'ware. The really bizarre thing, though, is that not only do I not have any radios or wireless 'ware (unless you snuck it in when I wasn't looking), but I'm apparently currently in an alternate dimension. That answer your questions?"

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The man in leather stays silent for a while. Then, without a change of expression, he says: "So... you're Ohalian Smith, and you speak to me from another dimension. The records do tell you're dead, but I didn't know our systems are so advanced that we can communicate with heaven. Listen, man. This is a closed experimental system. There is no, I repeat NO, connection to any outside system. The current version does not even have the capability to communicate to outside systems. In other words, we do know you're somewhere around. Now tell me who you really are and how you managed to sneak in to this system. The alert team is already on its way, and they'll be much nicer to you if you cooperate."

[OOC: Ophelia is at the market now. What about Ian and the Masked Gnoll, and Blackthornes?]

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As Ophelia waits at the market, a strange creature approaches her. It reminds her of a crab, but it walks on four legs (somewhere between how humanoids walk, and how crabs do), and its "shell" is shiny and golden... actually, looking like real gold, diamonds and jewelry. Its four perfectly round eyes resemble red carnelian gemstones.

"You..." The dark roaring voice appears aggressive, even dangerous. "Want buy food for long travel?"

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Ian sneaks through some of his best known alleyways through the hive, on his way to meet up with the others. Hopefully, avoiding the major travelways will help him dodge any wandering Harmonium.

Listen check: roll: 4+ (11) mod = 15 in case anyone tries to sneak up on me. Not that that rolls going to do much anyway...

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The masked Gnoll wanders off to follow Ian, still muttering to himself.
"...Vampires... I hate Vampires... just like mosquitos... drink your blood.... MY blood... I hate all bugs...bugs... bugs... fiendish bugs....sodding fiends..."
The Masked Gnoll stopps for a moment. "Fiends?" He asks, to no one in particular. Then continues toward the food vendors.

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'joyblood' wrote:
The man in leather stays silent for a while. Then, without a change of expression, he says: "So... you're Ohalian Smith, and you speak to me from another dimension. The records do tell you're dead, but I didn't know our systems are so advanced that we can communicate with heaven. Listen, man. This is a closed experimental system. There is no, I repeat NO, connection to any outside system. The current version does not even have the capability to communicate to outside systems. In other words, we do know you're somewhere around. Now tell me who you really are and how you managed to sneak in to this system. The alert team is already on its way, and they'll be much nicer to you if you cooperate."

"Okay, this is getting really bizarre. I assure you that I'm not dead, though with my sudden disappearance, I can understand why I'm recorded as being so. As for being on site, I assure you that I'm not there physically, though with the nature of the dimension I'm in (best exemplified through its appelation the 'City of Doors') it's entirely possible that there's a connection to your offices not entirely unlike a wormhole. In short, I don't want to connect to your system, nor did I think such a thing was even possible. However, there's a man in leather that spewed out a bunch of questions at one point, including asking for my J-sys network information number, at which point I gave him the number associated with my sensory 'ware, and I sarted talking to you. I'm going to assume you're running AI experiments, given that the 'man in leather' you're using as an avatar to talk to me now seemed to be fairly intellegent up until it became your puppet. If so, please ask the main AI to stop hijacking people's sensory ware? Oh, and this might be of use to you: Before the latest development, the man in leather kept asking if he could 'have' people. When I queried it on the meaning of this, I was informed it was some form of interrogation that would likely kill its subject. If you've programmed something like that, please tell it to get out of my eyes and ears? I don't need hallucinations right now, computer controlled or otherwise."

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Ian walks through the alleys he knows best, but he also knows chances of meeting the Harmonium are always a minimum in the Hive. Of course, there's other people... beings... to be avoided.

Followed by the muttering gnoll, he finally ends up at the food vendors, where Ophelia already waits for them. Obviously, she's in a discussion with a crab-like creature, looking like it was made from gold and jewelry.

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Once again, it takes a while before the man in leather speaks again.

"Did you say 'City of Doors'?" Despite the never-changing, friendly expression of the man's face, the voice sounds extremely confused, maybe even shocked. The strange difference between facial expression and tone of voice makes the whole situation appear even more bizarre.

"Okay, up to now I thought you're just some freak, but now... either you're a genius who managed to hack into the central AI system, which is protected by security systems that will be ahead of publicly available systems for, say, the next twenty years, or something of what you're telling me is actually true. I'm not sure which is more probable. I... wait a moment."

Another few seconds of silence pass. "I just received an interesting information. The basic development of the sensory ware of the man called Ohalian Smith was made by the same J-Sys employee who made the basic development of the interfaces of our experimental AI. There are minor interface compatabilities, even though it is not enough to allow any kind of hacking. Okay then, I'll try something. If you're serious and want to cooperate, please tell me what happens."

Suddenly, the man in leather comes near, raising his hand and putting it on Ohalian's breast - right where his heart is.

[OOC: Of course, Ohalian can attempt to stop the man - just make a DEX roll if you don't want him to touch you.]

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Ian, spotting Ophelia, walks over.
"Hello again, I trust you have everything you..." Ian notices the bejewled crab thing. "Oh, hello." He says cheerfully, thern leans in to whipser to Ophelia.
"We're not hireing him too, are we? Cause if so, I'm not paying for it."

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Ophelia whispers back to Ian "No, we are not hiring him, silly. He wants to sell us food for our travels. Oh, and before I forget, but then how could I ever forget, I must tell you about what just happened to me. It was the strangest an most frightening thing that has ever happened to me... unless of course you count actually ending up here a total cluelesss years and years ago here in Sigil, but that story is for another time. One moment."

She then whispers back at the crablike person " Yes, I would like to buy food for traveling. What do you have?"

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The crab's voice with its strange tone, leaving a nervous feeling in all who heard it, speaks again. "Meatfruits for your travel. My people know... you carry fear with you... special fear, I can sense... you enter the Pit. Meatfruits special fruit, good for mortals... and good for fiends. Never change down there. Not by Pit itself, at least."

The creature's eyes don't look at Ophelia, but seem to stare into infinity, as if the crab-creature was lost in thoughts.

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"Ignoring the fact that the very concept of 'meatfruit' is disturbing, I'm not usre I understand exactly what benifit the fruit provides. Does ' not being changed by the pit' mean that we will be protected by some effects of the lower planes, or simply that the fruit itself wont mold?" Ian askes.

Then, again whispering to Ophelia. "You? A prime? I'd have bet my soul you were planar, if it was still mine."

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OOC: I am assuming that im with the group, considering i did say that i wanted to go with ian to the food vendors.

speaking to Ian: "is there anything me and the big guy here could pick up?... i'm sure you we could get some things right away, just say the word and we will go purchase it."

To the masked gnoll: "is that ok with you big guy, i mean, i don't want to force you to come with me."

OOC:Is Ohalian still in the bar? or did i over look something?

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The crab-creature turns to Ian. "Have seen people die... from eating perfectly fine food. Turned to flesh-eating worms inside them. Have seen people starve... when food rotted nine times faster... than normal. Have seen people die... consumed by their food. Have not seen that with Meatfruit."

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Ian sits quietly for a moment. "Well, I'm sold. How much for... lets say four days rations for six people?" Ian asks.

OOC: No, Ohalian is not still at the bar. He is talking with the man in leather as he is collecting his things and making his way to the food vendors.

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She whispers back to Ian, "Well cutter... I've been here for 50 years or so. It is not like I just got here yesterday."

To the crab man she whispers, "... and wait a minute. How EXACTLY do you know all this about us and where we are going? You "feel" our fear? How do you do that?" She is asking in a bit of a bewildered tone.

**OOC: She is not being hostile or anything.

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"Very well, you can do what you will to adjust this problem, so long as you stay away from dangerous biofeedback levels. If you start mindspiking me, I'm going to cold reboot my cyber. And yes, I said 'City of Doors'. That's it's appelation; it's proper name is Sigil. I could describe it more, if you want me to. I'd imagine that first contact with an alien civilization is something a corp could make quite a bit of money out of."

He lets the man in leather reach out towards his heart. If he starts percieving dangerous feedback, though, he'll reboot all of his cyber, because even though that would leavve him blind, deaf, and largely paralysed while the cyber's rebooting, it should also terminate the link to the corp.

OOC: Am I still in the Hive, or have I gotten to the Clerk's Ward yet (where his house is)?

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[OOC: By now, you should be somewhere at the border between Clerk's Ward and Hive.]

The man in leather puts down his hand again, then says: "That's impossible. We..."

All of a sudden, he stops speaking, then after a few seconds begins again, but with a different tone of voice. "Mr. Ohalian Smith? This is Horan Dulth, Chief of Security of J-Sys Corp. I was informed about what's going on here. We've checked the whole location, you're nowhere around. There is no physical link to our system, yet you're inside it, and you even know the name of a data unit that the central AI has created when it performed its tasks - the 'City of Doors'. So, either you're some kind of genius hacker and have claims, if so, just state them. Or you're actually in what you call a different dimension, in a city with the same name as a data unit created by our AI, and your interface to us is the hallucination of a man in leather. If the latter, I think we can be of use to each other, don't you think so?"

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OOC: I would like to make this abundantly clear- Ian is in full possension of his soul. That thing he mention about not owning his souls anymore was the hook for a cheesy joke that didnt take.

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[OOC: *lol* In a campaign like this, you never know about the background of a character... Eye-wink ]

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'joyblood' wrote:
[OOC: By now, you should be somewhere at the border between Clerk's Ward and Hive.]

The man in leather puts down his hand again, then says: "That's impossible. We..."

All of a sudden, he stops speaking, then after a few seconds begins again, but with a different tone of voice. "Mr. Ohalian Smith? This is Horan Dulth, Chief of Security of J-Sys Corp. I was informed about what's going on here. We've checked the whole location, you're nowhere around. There is no physical link to our system, yet you're inside it, and you even know the name of a data unit that the central AI has created when it performed its tasks - the 'City of Doors'. So, either you're some kind of genius hacker and have claims, if so, just state them. Or you're actually in what you call a different dimension, in a city with the same name as a data unit created by our AI, and your interface to us is the hallucination of a man in leather. If the latter, I think we can be of use to each other, don't you think so?"

"Indeed so. Like I said, there almost certainly would be good profits to be made with making contact with an alien civilisation, especially one with a lower technology base. That might seem counter-intuitive, but you could achieve a stranglehold on advanced goods entering the market. Now, I have places to be, so if you don't mind, I'll be talking while I'm walking."

He then continues towards his (and his girlfriend's) house.

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The crab answers still without meeting the eyes of anyone in the group. "My kind... knows fear coming from... the Pits. It is special fear... unlike any. People change when... going down where noone should."

After a long pause, he adds, "My people... take most currencies. In Sigil money... 48 gold pieces."

"Sure", the man in leather replies, following Ohalian. "We don't notice it here anyway. Okay, first thing, assuming that man in leather is your communication interface to us, it might be possible to install new software on your cybers. First of all, we could make a complete security check of your systems, and second, we could install a new program allowing you to communicate with us without having any hallucinations... at least, if that man in leather really isn't anything but a hallucination."

"Another thing we can offer is... information. And knowledge. We have access to the best databases on our world here, AND we have the most developed AIs running here. If you have a question where you don't know the answer, we might be of help."

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"48 gold? Deal." Ian says to the vendor. He then turns to the rest of the party. "Okay people, pay up. Thats 8 gold per person, I'll pay for Ohalian and Naruk."

Ian hands the crabman 24 gold peieces, enough to buy rations for himself and two others.

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"ok, here"
hands ian 8 gold, to ian:
"now, what else are we going to need on our journey, i wouldn't mind grabbing somethings, if you want me to just tell me what it is we need."

to the gnoll:
"if i do go, do you want to come with me?"

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*Ophelia hands Ian her 8 gold, not wanting to touch the crab man*

"Most interesting," she says to the crab man, nodding her head, looking a little shook up.

She then whispers to the group, "I must tell you all what I ran into while trying to get here from the Hive."

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Ian, now holding another 16 gold, quickly hands them to the crab man as well. "So, what did you run into?" He asks Ophelia.

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Whispering quietly to Ian (and the whole group if they are there) and keeping out of earshot of anyone else in the marketplace she whispers, "I ran into some kind of demon that I have never run into before... maybe one of you has. It was ALL negative energy and it tried to suck the life force out of me. It said that it was created by my fear and hate. It looked just like a lot of inky blackness and two red glowing eyes. It brought shapeless creatures of horror to kill me. And just when I was about to give up I realized that I needed to calm down. At that moment a voice came into my head... I don't know if it was my thoughts or voice or another's, but it said this:

"That thing is merely a mistake, an ethereal emotion trying to become real. It is meaningless, weak... yet it can become dangerous. Through it the same energies flow as through your own mind. If it finds a way to these energies, it can suck the soul right out of your body. Your only way out is to turn things around. Take it... suck it out. Take its energies and transform the negative power that gives it life into the positive life that you stand for. Take its power, take its life, focus on breathing in the essence of this creature... or submit to what little power it has, and be captured within this darkness until you die..."

...And so I did just what the voice said to do and it went away! I had to consentrate and put all of my will into it, but I did it! I vanquished the monster! Hey... do any of you guys know who or what this thing was?"

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**OOC: Joyblood, that sequence with the demon-like thing was excellent! I am glad I am a part of your game Laughing out loud .

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'joyblood' wrote:
"Sure", the man in leather replies, following Ohalian. "We don't notice it here anyway. Okay, first thing, assuming that man in leather is your communication interface to us, it might be possible to install new software on your cybers. First of all, we could make a complete security check of your systems, and second, we could install a new program allowing you to communicate with us without having any hallucinations... at least, if that man in leather really isn't anything but a hallucination."

"Another thing we can offer is... information. And knowledge. We have access to the best databases on our world here, AND we have the most developed AIs running here. If you have a question where you don't know the answer, we might be of help."

"Uh huh... that seems acceptable, though I won't hesitate to uninstall the software if I suspect it's anything more than communication software, and if you start doing anything other than scan my cyber for security holes when you're in, and I'll reboot the lot of it to sever the connection. I didn't survive as long as I did in the shadows by trusting corporations, and the only reason I'm letting you do this is because I'm currently an asset to you. Am I correct in the assumption that following this, you will want to hear everything I learn about Sigil, and the other dimensions it connects to, as the price of the security checkout and information you're providing me?"

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Ian listens to Ophelias account of her encounter with the 'fiend.'

"Hmm, the voice in your head actually called it a mistake? Interesting. That could either mean that its existance was complelty accidental, or that it was the failed attempt to create something else."
"All in all, I don't think It was a fiend. It doesn't fit the description of anything Ive heard of. It could easily have been something actually formed from negative emotions, though. You never truely have solid footing with the Power of Belief in play, and this 'fiend' reeks of it."

Ian turns to the crab man. " So, when can we have our ... meatfruit?" Ian asks.

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[OOC: @Ophelia: Thankies Smiling

@all: I'm moving into my new place tomorrow, and I don't know when everything will be "ready to run" again - so if I'm silent for a few days, you know why.]

The crab man takes the gold, then replies to Ian, "Now, of course. My kind don't like debts."

All of a sudden, his body begins to twist... it seems like the creature has horrible pain, maybe even dies. Somewhere between the creature's breast and stomach, the body breaks up, spilling blood on the ground. Then, the crab grabs into its own body, and takes out of it twelve dark red fruits, one after the other. Each fruit has the size of a small melon, and is perfectly round, with a thick skin.

After the twelfth fruit, the creature's body closes again, and the crab says, "Clean them... then will stay fine... up to twenty Sigil days. Half fruit enough... to feed one human one day."

Without caring for the group any further, the creature turns around and leaves.

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Ian, now holding twelve, gore covered fruit, sits silent for a moment.
"Does anyone here have any water? Because I would really, REALLY like to wash my hands right now."

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'nick012000' wrote:
"Uh huh... that seems acceptable, though I won't hesitate to uninstall the software if I suspect it's anything more than communication software, and if you start doing anything other than scan my cyber for security holes when you're in, and I'll reboot the lot of it to sever the connection. I didn't survive as long as I did in the shadows by trusting corporations, and the only reason I'm letting you do this is because I'm currently an asset to you. Am I correct in the assumption that following this, you will want to hear everything I learn about Sigil, and the other dimensions it connects to, as the price of the security checkout and information you're providing me?"

"We know who you are, Mr. Smith. So we know we shouldn't fool you. Besides, my task is security, not espionage. We do have a separate task force for that..."

The man in leather comes closer to Ohalian once more, putting his fingers on different points of his body - points where, as Ohalian knows, parts of his cyberware are installed. As Ohalian continues walking, the man in leather shows an excellent control of his movement, never losing touch of the specific points on Ohalian's body, and walking at his side without running into anything or anyone.

"We are finished", the man says after a few minutes - close to Ohalian's home already. "Now we'll try the new communication channel."

CAN YOU HEAR US?

A male voice echoes through Ohalian's mind, so loud and booming that Ohalian almost stumbles.

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"There I am."

All of a sudden, a new character appears at the group waiting at the food vendors - it is Naruk, the old man from the tavern.

It seems he has made use of the money he received - he is shaved now, and has obviously taken a bath. Also, instead of the shabby clothes he wore before, he is now wearing a fine full-body leather armour, a golden sign of an eagle's head on the breast.

His eyes wander to the meatfruit in Ian's hands. "Uh. What is that?"

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Ian, never taking his eyes off of the food in his hands, says."Meatfruit. I just bought it from a golden, jewled crab man. He said it would'nt be effected by alot of... nasty things that can happen to food on the lower planes."

Ian looks up at Naruk. "Hey, you clean up nice."

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*to ian*
"nope, sorry, no water here, only a few bottles of torils finest wine...I used to use them for persuasive resons, but now i just don't no what to do with them, they probably aren't worth as much up here."

*to the group* "were are we headded next?"

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Ophelia takes one of her water skins and helps to clean Ian's hands of gore. "Meatfruit, huh? Now I have seen everything... of course once I say that something new will come along and I won't have seen everything," she whispers to anyone who cares to listen. She finishes helping to clean Ian's hands and the meat fruit, and whispers "Why don't we head off to a general goods store. We might need something from there, like grappling hooks and the like."

"Oh wait, we need to wait here for that cat-man... he is going with us right?"

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"Thanks a bunch for the water. And yes, Ohalian should be here soon. Personally, I'm not sure if we can trust him, what with the..." Ian snaps his fingers.
"That's right! You weren't there for that. Ohalian might turn out to be crazy. Last I heard, he was talking to an invisible man who wanted to read my mind and kill me... or something."

"And if we're heading to any store in specific, I think we should go to the Friendly Fiend. Knowing Akin, he's probably already has items in stock that we need, but have never heard of. Plus, he usualy has good prices."

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"So you are telling me that Ohalian has an "imaginary" friend that wants to kill you? I don't know about you but I say that we don't let him keep watch out alone when we rest." she whispers to Ian.

*to the rest of the group* "Oh yes A'kin, that totally slipped my mind! Yes, we should definately go there first."

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*to the group*
"OK, i've been around here for a little awhile, but never heard that name. Who is Akin, or should i say what is he?"

OOC: i thought this would be a good comment, ym character is kinda new to sigil after all.

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'joyblood' wrote:
'nick012000' wrote:
"Uh huh... that seems acceptable, though I won't hesitate to uninstall the software if I suspect it's anything more than communication software, and if you start doing anything other than scan my cyber for security holes when you're in, and I'll reboot the lot of it to sever the connection. I didn't survive as long as I did in the shadows by trusting corporations, and the only reason I'm letting you do this is because I'm currently an asset to you. Am I correct in the assumption that following this, you will want to hear everything I learn about Sigil, and the other dimensions it connects to, as the price of the security checkout and information you're providing me?"

"We know who you are, Mr. Smith. So we know we shouldn't fool you. Besides, my task is security, not espionage. We do have a separate task force for that..."

The man in leather comes closer to Ohalian once more, putting his fingers on different points of his body - points where, as Ohalian knows, parts of his cyberware are installed. As Ohalian continues walking, the man in leather shows an excellent control of his movement, never losing touch of the specific points on Ohalian's body, and walking at his side without running into anything or anyone.

"We are finished", the man says after a few minutes - close to Ohalian's home already. "Now we'll try the new communication channel."

CAN YOU HEAR US?

A male voice echoes through Ohalian's mind, so loud and booming that Ohalian almost stumbles.

Ohalian replies, "Yes. Can you turn down the volume, please? Also, can I communicate with you mentally, or will I have to speak out loud?"

OpheliaWhispers's picture
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factotums
Joined: 2005-05-27
Game: Great minds think alike

Ophelia whispers to Blackthornes, "A'kin is the "friendly fiend". You haven't heard of him? He is an arcanoloth that runs a, what would best describe it, a curio store, that contains many a thing an adventurer would, and in our case, will need."

*Ophelia leaves it at that for Blackthornes to take as he will, and for anyone else to chime in and fill in the missing pieces.*

Fidrikon's picture
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Factor
Joined: 2004-12-19
Game: Great minds think alike

"No one really knows much abourt Akin's past. Or even if he really he is as friendly as he seems. He's either an ascended fiend, or a typical loth who is play a deeper game then any of us can imagine. Personaly, I think he's a plain old nice guy. Hells, if you can have a fallen celestial, why cant you have a rissen fiend?"

blackthornes's picture
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factotums
Joined: 2005-04-21
Game: Great minds think alike

*to the group*
"ok...so not a yugoloths are lying, ciniving fiends, now i've heard everything........ectually i probably haven't. Are there any other people around here that i should now of, i mean i have only met a few....... do you guys know a gender challenged pit fiend that goes by the name Rauel?
You know, he's a chef down in ribcage?"

Fidrikon's picture
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Factor
Joined: 2004-12-19
Game: Great minds think alike

"Are you sure Rauel isn't a Paeliryon? Normally they don't put themselves in the open, but I can imagine one of them convincing an entire town that they are nothing more than a cook."
Ian sits silent for a moment. "And I'm not confident that Pit Fiends HAVe genders, but I AM sure that I dont want to find out."

blackthornes's picture
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factotums
Joined: 2005-04-21
Game: Great minds think alike

*to ian*
"ok, even if they don't have genders, he certainly sounds like he would be gender challanged. Besides, whenever someone talks about bel, they say he, or his, so I figured they have genders. Anyways, what is a Paeliryon?"
OOC:you really have me in the dark on that one.

Fidrikon's picture
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Factor
Joined: 2004-12-19
Game: Great minds think alike

"Wait... Your basing this on how he SOUNDS?" Ian covers his face with his hands, hiding a painful looking wince. "I swear, if anyone ever hires me to kill you, I'll do it at a reduced rate."

OOC: Generally, its a bad idea to inject you own NPC's into someone elses campaign.

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